November 2004 
Volume 03, Issue 7 
Special Features

Master of Global Airlift

The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III airlifter has literally changed the face of combat, flying strategic ranges and landing on tactical airfields, most recently in Afghanistan and Iraq. Since 1995, when the new fleet became operational, C-17s have been the airlifter of choice for worldwide operations such as hurricane relief in the Caribbean, peacekeeping missions worldwide and the global war on terrorism.

Avionics engineer Robert SantosoMaj. Gen. Paul Fletcher (left), USAF assistant deputy chief of staff for Plans and Programs, gives an enthusiastic "thumbs up"Built by Boeing Integrated Defense Systems in Long Beach, Calif., the C-17 is designed to fulfill military airlift needs well into the 21st century. A high-wing, fourengine, T-tailed aircraft with a rear-loading ramp, the C-17 can carry large combat equipment and troops or humanitarian aid across international distances directly to small austere airfields anywhere in the world.

C-17s have set 33 world records—more than any other airlifter in history—including payload-to-altitude, time-to-climb, and short-takeoff-and-landing marks in which the C-17 took off in less than 1,400 feet, carried a payload of 44,000 pounds to altitude, and landed in less than 1,400 feet.

In 1995, the C-17 received the prestigious Collier Trophy, symbolizing the top aeronautical achievement of 1994. In 1999, U.S. President Bill Clinton presented the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award to Boeing Airlift and Tanker Programs, maker of the C-17, for business excellence. In 2002, the C-17's Long Beach assembly facility received IndustryWeek magazine's Best Plants award for being one of the top 10 plants in North America.

The following photos help tell the story of what Boeing people do to make—and celebrate—the C-17.

In a Hollywood-style production, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger


Mechanic David Archibald (left) describes the complicated process of joining two wing halves Boeing President and CEO Harry Stonecipher swipes his employee badge into the Andon system on the C-17 production line


C-17 mechanic Juan Rios practices the "clean as you go" motto as he vacuums up foreign object debris C-17 Special Operations Loading Ramp team  

Boeing C-17 Globemaster III

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